Australian/ Dessert/ Recipes

Easy No Bake Lemon Slice

02/03/2022 (Last Updated: 19/04/2022)

Sweet, tart and delicious, this amazing lemon slice tastes similar to a lemon cheesecake with no baking required! This classic family favourite is easy to make with fresh lemon and simple pantry staples.

Stack of slice on a plate with serving forks.

Why We Love This

Lemon slice freezes beautifully, so why not make a double batch so there’s extra to share?

Like vanilla slice, jelly slice or coconut ice, It’s a perfect “bring a plate” recipe for picnics, parties and celebrations, or just as a tasty lunchbox treat. 

P.S. It’s also a great way to use up excess lemons when they’re in season!

Pieces of no bake lemon slice on plates, ready to eat.

What is Lemon Slice? 

Lemon slice is an easy homemade slice consisting of a biscuit base with a lemon icing topping. This simple no-bake recipe sets in the fridge, unlike lemon bars or lemon squares that require the base and filling to be baked in separate steps.

It’s sweet, but not too sweet. A nice balance of sweet and sour. It’s perfect served up with a cup of tea or coffee

Where We Learned This

We often go for an annual holiday in the Flinders Ranges with a group of around 6 other families on a mystery trip we take turns in organising each year.

Morning tea is always a big event with everyone as the first stop on the way to our destination. Without a doubt, there’s always a tray of lemon slice ready to devour and this one of Sarah’s favourites. They’re usually one of the first lots to go, alongside a batch of our coffee scroll biscuits and vanilla slice of course!

What You’ll Need

  • Arrowroot Biscuits – Sub with scotch finger, milk coffee, nice or marie biscuits, and graham crackers if in the US. Break them into pieces and use a food processor to crush them in batches into a fine crumb. You can even use crushed up weetbix if you don’t have quite enough biscuits on hand.
  • Desiccated Coconut – We use finely grated desiccated coconut to keep the slice quite smooth and help it to set perfectly. We don’t recommend grated coconut as the pieces will be too large and can cause the slice to crumble. 
  • Condensed Milk – Also known as sweetened condensed milk. Sub with coconut condensed milk (and skip the butter in the icing) for a vegan friendly version with even more coconut flavour.
  • Icing Sugar – Also known as powdered sugar or confectioner’s sugar. You can also use icing mixture in this recipe, which has cornstarch added to stop it from going lumpy. Don’t be tempted to use regular grainy sugar as this will make the slice too grainy. 
  • Butter – Salted or unsalted butter are both fine. Avoid subbing with margarine, mainly for flavour purposes. The butter adds a beautiful pale yellow glow to the icing, along with a cream cheese frosting texture. 
  • Lemon Juice and Lemon Zest – We use the juice in the icing only, and the finely grated lemon rind / zest in both the biscuit base and the icing. Avoid bottled lemon juice where possible, it really doesn’t have that fresh citrus burst of real lemon. You can of course use it if that’s all you have on hand.
Ingredients laid out to make lemon slice.

How to make No Bake Lemon Slice:

For the biscuit base:

  1. Use a food processor to finely pulse and crush your arrowroot biscuits into fine crumbs. Alternatively, place them back into their packaging bag (after removing the plastic tray), seal the open end and crush them with a rolling pin.
  2. Transfer biscuit crumbs into a large mixing bowl along with the desiccated coconut and lemon zest. Give a quick mix until roughly combined. 
  3. Pour the condensed milk and milk over the crumbs and mix roughly with a spoon, then use your hands to get all the ingredients evenly incorporated. The texture should be nice and sticky, and hold if you squeeze it in your hand. Keep it nice and loose so you can pour it into the baking tray. Note: If the crumbs seem too dry to hold their shape, add an extra 1 tbsp milk and mix well. The extra moisture should help it come together and set nicely. 
  4. Press most of the mixture out firmly into a baking tray lined with baking paper, reserving a handful in the bowl. You can then use the leftover crumbs to fill in any uneven areas of the base. Tip: Use the back of a dessert spoon to get it nice and flat (the pointier end will help you get right to the edges).
  5. Pop into the fridge to set while working on the icing.

For the lemon icing:

  1. Mix the icing sugar, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth. You want the icing thicker than normal, as it will set better as a topping. Too thin and it will run when you try and cut it. Tip: If it’s too thick, add a little more juice. If it’s too runny, add a little more icing sugar. 
  2. Carefully spread the icing out over the biscuit base. You can use a fork to spread it out initially and get it right out to the edges.
  3. Then use the back of a hot metal spoon (dunked in hot water) to smooth out the icing, or leave it rougher for a more rustic look. Optional: Garnish with a light sprinkle of extra desiccated coconut.  
  4. Slice into pieces (either 9 large slices or 36 small bites) and store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Wandercook’s Tips

  • Firm Icing – Add a little juice at a time until you get the right texture for the icing – not too thick that it’s too hard to spread, and not too runny that it makes a mess. Don’t be afraid to use your best judgement and add a little more if you need. 
  • Spreading the Icing – Keep a small cup of hot water beside you as you’re spreading the icing. Dunking your spoon or spatula into the hot water before you spread – heat will help the icing spread out smoothly.
  • Make Ahead – You can make the slice a day ahead and set it in the fridge overnight before slicing if you’re looking for perfectly smooth, neat slices. Otherwise, 1-2 hours in the fridge should be enough. 
  • Use Up Condensed Milk – Double the recipe and you can use up the full can of condensed milk. You can always freeze the excess for later!

FAQs

My icing was runny, how can I avoid this?

Make your icing a little thicker by using more icing sugar or a little less juice. You can also try using pure icing sugar (made from pure sugar) instead of icing mixture (made with sugar and cornstarch) as it tends to set more firmly. We just used icing mixture and had no issues.

My base was crumbly, how can I fix this next time?

Before you’ve pressed out the base mixture, if it’s too crumbly you can add an extra tablespoon of milk. The extra moisture should help it come together and set nicely.

How should I store lemon slice? Can I freeze it?

It’s best to store lemon slice in the fridge until you’re ready to serve. If properly stored in an airtight container it will last for around 7 days in the fridge, or up to 2 months in the freezer.

Variations

  • Intense Lemon Flavour – Add more lemon zest to the biscuit base and/or icing – it has way more flavour than juice!
  • Other Citrus Flavours –  Replace the zest and juice with orange or lime. 
  • Jaffa Slice – Swap out half of the arrowroot biscuits with choc ripple, and replace lemon zest / juice with orange. 
  • Passionfruit Pulp – Add a little passionfruit pulp to the base mixture or the icing mixture. 
  • Add Colour – Add a few drops of yellow food colouring to the icing mixture for a cheerful bright yellow frosting. 
  • Optional Garnish – Sprinkle a little extra lemon zest, icing sugar or toasted coconut over the top. You could even garnish with a lemon curl to make them extra fancy. 
  • Extra Texture – Add crushed nuts of your choice into the base mixture, such as pistachio, hazelnut, almond or walnut.
A piece of lemon slice topped with a piece of lemon rind.

★ Did you make this recipe? Please leave a comment and a star rating below!

Stack of three pieces of lemon slice.

Easy No Bake Lemon Slice

Sweet, tart and delicious, this amazing lemon slice tastes similar to a lemon cheesecake with no baking required! This classic family favourite is easy to make with fresh lemon and simple pantry staples.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Setting Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Servings: 9 Slices
Calories: 382kcal
Author: Wandercooks
Cost: $5

Ingredients

For the icing:

Instructions

For the biscuit base:

  • Use a food processor to finely pulse and crush your arrowroot biscuits into fine crumbs. Alternatively, place them back into their packaging bag (after removing the plastic tray), seal the open end and crush them with a rolling pin.
    250 g arrowroot biscuits
  • Transfer biscuit crumbs into a large mixing bowl along with the desiccated coconut and lemon zest. Give a quick mix until roughly combined.
    1 cup desiccated coconut, 2 tsp lemon zest
  • Pour the condensed milk and milk over the crumbs and mix roughly with a spoon, then use your hands to get all the ingredients evenly incorporated. The texture should be nice and sticky, and hold if you squeeze it in your hand. Keep it nice and loose so you can pour it into the baking tray. Note: If the crumbs seem too dry to hold their shape, add an extra 1 tbsp milk and mix well. The extra moisture should help it come together and set nicely.
    250 ml sweetened condensed milk, 1 tbsp milk
  • Press most of the mixture out firmly into a baking tray lined with baking paper, reserving a handful in the bowl. You can then use the leftover crumbs to fill in any uneven areas of the base. Tip: Use the back of a dessert spoon to get it nice and flat (the pointier end will help you get right to the edges).
  • Pop into the fridge to set while working on the icing.

For the lemon icing:

  • Mix the icing sugar, butter, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth. You want the icing thicker than normal, as it will set better as a topping. Too thin and it will run when you try and cut it. Tip: If it’s too thick, add a little more juice. If it’s too runny, add a little more icing sugar.
    1 ½ cups icing sugar, 1 tbsp butter, 1 tsp lemon zest, 1 ½ tbsp lemon juice
  • Carefully spread the icing out over the biscuit base. You can use a fork to spread it out initially and get it right out to the edges.
  • Then use the back of a hot metal spoon (dunked in hot water) to smooth out the icing, or leave it rougher for a more rustic look. Optional: Garnish with a light sprinkle of desiccated coconut.
    desiccated coconut
  • Slice into pieces (either 9 large slices or 36 small bites) and store in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

  • Firm Icing – Add a little juice at a time until you get the right texture for the icing – not too thick that it’s too hard to spread, and not too runny that it makes a mess. Don’t be afraid to use your best judgement and add a little more if you need. 
  • Spreading the Icing – Keep a small cup of hot water beside you as you’re spreading the icing. Dunking your spoon or spatula into the hot water before you spread – heat will help the icing spread out smoothly.
  • Make Ahead – You can make the slice a day ahead and set it in the fridge overnight before slicing if you’re looking for perfectly smooth, neat slices. Otherwise, 1-2 hours in the fridge should be enough. 
  • Use Up Condensed Milk – Double the recipe and you can use up the full can of condensed milk. You can always freeze the excess for later!
  • Intense Lemon Flavour – Add more lemon zest to the biscuit base and/or icing – it has way more flavour than juice!
  • Other Citrus Flavours –  Replace the zest and juice with orange or lime. 
  • Jaffa Slice – Swap out half of the arrowroot biscuits with choc ripple, and replace lemon zest / juice with orange. 
  • Passionfruit Pulp – Add a little passionfruit pulp to the base mixture or the icing mixture. 
  • Add Colour – Add a few drops of yellow food colouring to the icing mixture for a cheerful bright yellow frosting. 
  • Optional Garnish – Sprinkle a little extra lemon zest, icing sugar or toasted coconut over the top. You could even garnish with a lemon curl to make them extra fancy. 
  • Extra Texture – Add crushed nuts of your choice into the base mixture, such as pistachio, hazelnut, almond or walnut.

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Easy No Bake Lemon Slice
Amount per Serving
Calories
382
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
17
g
26
%
Saturated Fat
 
9
g
56
%
Trans Fat
 
1
g
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
1
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
5
g
Cholesterol
 
19
mg
6
%
Sodium
 
197
mg
9
%
Potassium
 
189
mg
5
%
Carbohydrates
 
56
g
19
%
Fiber
 
2
g
8
%
Sugar
 
40
g
44
%
Protein
 
5
g
10
%
Vitamin A
 
140
IU
3
%
Vitamin C
 
3
mg
4
%
Calcium
 
95
mg
10
%
Iron
 
1
mg
6
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Easy No Bake Lemon Slice

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